Low-Fat Blueberry Muffins

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back in July, when blueberries were on sale every week at the grocery store, we bought up a few extra pints and froze the blueberries for future use. Then, we went to the Poconos and picked a bunch of wild blueberries, and were able to bring a bag full of those home, too. Again, we popped them into the freezer.

I've been thinking about blueberry muffins ever since.

So in my nesting fury last weekend, in which I went about making and freezing enough food to completely fill our freezer, I decided that one of the things that just HAD to be made was a batch of blueberry muffins.
There are some baked goods that I don't think you can "skimp" on. You either have to do things right (in other words, use REAL BUTTER and OIL and all things bad for you), or don't do them at all. But when it comes to muffins, quick breads, and the like, I almost always hunt for highly-rated "healthier" versions.

The same is true with these blueberry muffins. From America's Test Kitchen, these are made with low-fat yogurt, and upon taste testing, we were quite pleased with them. It wasn't a full-fat bakery muffin, for sure, but the tartness of the blueberries stood out, and the muffin itself was just a little bit sweet. For some reason, mine came out looking NOTHING like the ones on How to Eat a Cupcake, but I'd call these a success nonetheless. We'll be pulling these out of the freezer when we need a little nourishment. And after the baby's born, who knows, that could very well be at 3 a.m. :)

Light Blueberry Muffins
(Source: The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book, as seen on How to Eat a Cupcake)

- Vegetable oil spray
- 2 cups (10 oz) plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (4 oz) cake flour
- 1 cup (7 oz) sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling - if you have it, use coarse sugar for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt (Use low-fat yogurt here; nonfat yogurt will make dry, tasteless muffins)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (ATK prefers frozen wild blueberries)

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray.

2. Whisk 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, cake flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat 3/4 cup more sugar and butter together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla until incorporated, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture and half of the yogurt. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the remaining yogurt. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

4. Toss the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of all-purpose flour, then gently fold them into the batter with a rubber spatula. Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup sprayed with vegetable oil spray, portion the batter into each muffin cup, then portion any remaining batter evenly among the cups using a small spoon (cups will be almost completely full). Sprinkle the tops with the remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

5. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Christina,  September 3, 2010 at 10:08 AM  

These sound great! I'm also nesting and filling my freezer for the arrival of my baby (EDD 10/12) and was wondering if you had tips/directions for freezing and then defrosting these muffins.

Heather September 3, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

Hi Heather! This sounds yummy! I was wondering if maybe you could do a post about freezing meals. I've always been interested in stocking up on meals and then freezing them, but I've always been unsure about what types of foods are good to freeze, etc. What kinds of foods have you frozen and do you have any tips?

Dana September 6, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

Looks yummy. That was a great idea on freezing the blueberries when they were on sale.

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